Saturday, 27 June 2009

Red-veined Darters in Northampton

Nick Roberts phoned me this afternoon to report that he and Mark Piper had seen 6 Red-veined Darter at a newish pond near road works just outside Northampton. These are normally of Meditteranean origin and are regular migrants to the UK. Once I'd got directions, I sped (not exceeding 70mph, I hasten to add) off hoping I wasn't too late. When I got to the site, it took several minutes before I saw the first one and then all six appeared. Their territories were quite large - much larger than the Black-tailed Skimmer they shared the pond with. There were many clashes and even one between two R-v Darters. The males all perched on the bare mud around the pond where I crouched down on my stomach to take the photos above. No sign of any Lesser Emperors that normally seem to accompany R-v Darters though. Thanks for the record Nick & Mark!!